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Fifth Edition

April/May 2013

Principal And Assistant Principal Jobs In Danger? By Emily Offenbacker

The uproar at the School lately is about the possible non-renewal of Principal Craig Hockenberry and Assistant Principal Amy Woods’ contracts. Students and staff at Oyler have been upset and concerned that Oyler could lose two important assets to the school “family.” Even members of the community are aghast about the situation. The reasoning behind this situation? Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) are trying to close a $46 to $53 million dollar budget deficit. CPS will face the budget deficit in June, so they gave 72 administrators word that they might not have a job next year. According to local news reports, the non-renewal notices are just for flexibility because they are waiting to find out how much aid they will receive from the State. Fifteen additional Continued on page 3

Principal Hockenberry with Kindergarten Student Alaine Bahe. Photo courtesy of Craig Hockenberry

Alanie Bahe

By Amanda Sanders and Ariel Daniels

Alanie Bahe, a six-year-old kindergartener here at Oyler, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. This brave By Alesea Ronnebaum little girl started treatment on April 17, 2013. Though Alanie suffers from a terrible illness, Beth Overmyer, The Boys & Girls Club is a place where youths from one of Alanie’s kindergarten teachers, says, “She is a the age of 5-18 come to spend their after school time sweetheart.” positively. In the Greater Cincinnati area there are Debbie Talbert, another of Alanie’s kindergarten teachsix traditional sites and seven school-based sites. The ers, recalls when Alanie had helped empty trays in the Espy Boys & Girls Club of Lower Price Hill selectcafeteria. Talbert said, “She got more food on her than ed eight Oyler students to help out with the Annual in the trash!” Oyler staff is helping Alanie by making Achievement Luncheon--Alesea Ronnebaum, Shanaya school more comfortable, though she hasn’t been able Ronnebaum, Jalyn Ronnebaum, Tiyon Mincey, Antto attend much. Oyler staff have also tried to find out wone Gary, Daquan Brown, Danzail Farrier and Papa her needs and have provided headbands for her at her Niane. Every year, usually in April, the luncheon is request. The School also has provided extra play time held to present the Youth of the Year for the Greater and has sent her to Oyler’s Health Center when she Cincinnati, Northern-Kentucky area. The Youth of the isn’t feeling well. The School also has organized donaYear is chosen by a group of judges who listen to a tions for her treatment.“She was like my little energizrepresentative from each club as they compete for the er bunny,” said Overmyer, speaking of Alanie’s perregional title. In order to be eligible, the students have sonality. Alanie is also said to be very fun-loving. She to do a certain number of community service hours has been a good student and has always been friendly and be involved in school. This year, the Youth of the with everyone. She has been a very strong-willed little Continued on page 2 girl. We honor her courage.

Boys & Girls Club Engages Youth

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Oyler Griffin

Oyler Griffin Staff

Editor in Chief: Emily Offenbacker

News Editor: Amanda Sanders Managing Editor: Robert McMurray Sports Editor: Joel Ingle Features Editor: Ariel Daniels Arts Editor: Crystal Kornegay Deputy Arts Director: Jeniece Ballard Layout: Emily Offenbacker & C.J. Martin Director of Photography: Alesea Ronnebaum Distribution Manager: Selina Appel Photographers: Anna Ferguson, Selina Appel, Ariel Daniels City Reporter: Aaron Palmer Contributing Editors: Daniel Barnes, Stephanie Barnes, Ashley Darnell, Papa Niane, Rebecca Pridemore, and Advisors:

Justin Leach Sandra Smythe

Letters to the Editor: 2121 Hatmaker St, 45205 or

April/May 2013

to make sure that what they are reporting is accurate, this misinformation can spread quickly on the Internet. For example, CNN falsely reported that a “darkskinned” person was being sought by Federal agents and that an arrest had been made--24 hours before the suspects were actually identified. Social media definitely has more pros than cons. Social media has helped people find each other and keep each other informed. The best part is that it opens up a whole new medium to inform beyond just newspapers and television. For example, within hours of the Boston Marathon attack, Google had put up an online person finder to help people find loved ones. Social media is transforming the world of journalism. The whole point of journalistic ethics is to get the facts and get them right the first time, and social media will have to develop along with this ethic to be a responsible informant of the public.

Getting The Story Right Online Editorial By C.J. Martin

As terror rained down on Boston, the US went to social media to keep up to date on what was going on. There are so many new ways to tell people what's going on in this world. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or tumblr, people are always in touch and letCNN’s John King falsley reported that an arrest had been made on April 17, two days before the arrest of Dzokhar Tsarnaev folting one another know what's going on. In the Boston lowing a shoot-out with the police that killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev. bombing, Reddit caused people to be wrongly identified as the terrorists. So we have to step back and ask Continued from page 1 ourselves, is all of this social media a good thing? Year is Jalese Stone from the Newport Boys & Girls Back when the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened, you Club. The youths that were selected to help out with couldn't live tweet to tell people where you were while the luncheon were addressed by Olympic Gold Medthings were going on. Now, with social media, you can alist and hockey player Jim Craig. He talked about tell people what, when, where, how, and why you're how he became successful and the goals he made in doing the things you are doing. Social media seems to order to make it to where he is now. The youths also be beneficial, especially in crisis situations, by instant- helped welcome the business people who sponsor the ly letting people know what’s going on. Twitter, for organization and interacted with them. For lunch, each example, has become a great source of breaking news. student was assigned a table with a certain businessHowever, during the manhunt for the terrorists, Twit- person, and they were to talk to their table mates ter actually almost hurt the investigation. The Federal about their backgrounds and what the Boys & Girls Bureau of Investigation pleaded with Twitter users Club means to them. to stop tweeting information from the Boston Police Stone presented her speech, and the rest of the candiscanner. They were fearful the suspect might get indates received their awards. For winning Youth of the formation. On the other hand, if a publication is using Year of the Greater Cincinnati area, Stone received social media to communicate and they don’t take care scholarships and other awards.

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Griffin Griffin Oyler Griffin

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notices may be given out by CPS in May for even more precaution. If the budget gap cannot be bridged, teachers also could receive notices by the end of April, a local news source website has reported Public Affairs Director Janet Walsh as saying. As of May 8, this had not occurred. Students were so upset about this possibility that they had planned a walk-out on Friday, April 12, 2013 for 6th through 12th grade. Word got around, and Principal Hockenberry addressed the entire Middle School and High School. He said, “I am touched from the bottom of my heart, almost to tears. I appreciate what you guys are trying to do, but I think you should do it in a different way.” Hockenberry introduced the students with alternatives to the walk-out. He suggested writing letters. The walk-out did not take place because students did not want to cause anyone to form any negative views about Hockenberry. Many students have written letters and/or made phone calls. When asked their opinion about the possible non-renewal of Hockenberry and Woods’ contracts, music teacher Levie Smith said, “I don’t want to see anyone lose their job. Plus, they are important to the school and community.” Junior Maria Ramirez said, “I think it’s unfair because so many people are used to them.” Senior Te’ana West, who has been a student at Oyler since Kindergarten said, “I think that Mr. Hockenberry is Oyler. He made it what it is. No other principal could run Oyler the way Mr. Hockenberry runs it.” Online teacher Kim Price said, “I don’t think it would be positive if they weren’t here. I think that the relationship they have with the students and community is positive.” There would definitely be a lot of disappointment at Oyler if Hockenberry and Woods couldn’t return next year. Hockenberry has been the principal at Oyler for 15 years, and Woods has been at Oyler going on three years, which is a lot longer than some of the previous Assistant Principals. Both have done a great deal for the School, and they have made a positive impact on almost every student at Oyler. Griffin Reporter and Managing Editor Robert McMurray gathered the following quotes on this issue: “I’ve seen Oyler grow from only having Pre-K-8, to becoming Pre-K-12, offering different programs and classes, and partnering with many different companies. I honestly don’t think this would be possible

April/May October 2012 2013 2012 November

without Mr. Hockenberry’s dedication and love for his job. I think that without Mr. Hockenberry and Mrs. Woods here a lot would change, and Oyler wouldn’t be the same.” - Emily Offenbacker “He has done so much for this school and community. Without him I don’t think this school would be as great as it is! If he leaves I think Oyler will never be the same and slowly go downhill.” - Daniel Barnes “He has made an impact on the school, the community, and even the students. He is a father figure to many of the kids here, and he is involved in their lives.” Stephanie Barnes “When I first started attending Oyler I lived right around the corner on State. On Christmas Eve, we were robbed, and somehow Mr. Hockenberry found out and bought presents for me and my sister.” -Robert McMurray “At the beginning of the 2012-2013 year, my little brother was being bullied by another student in his class. Mr. Hockenberry was able to solve this problem right away.” -Amanda Sanders

Anti-Bullying Week At Oyler By Jeniece Ballard

Two of Oyler’s seniors, Crystal Mayes and Ashley Darnell, have put together an anti-bullying week for the 7th and 8th graders. From May 6th to the 10th, these two and several others involved will give presentations to the Middle Schoolers. As a bonus, they will honor them with a pizza party, with money donated from Oyler staff and High School students supporting the purpose. During the week, the girls will present to one gender group each day, giving anti-bullying lectures and activities to all of them. At the end of every session, the students must write a reflection on what they’ve learned on that day. Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions.The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” the bullying.

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Oyler Oyler Griffin Griffin

April/May November 2013 2012

Oyler Sports Madhatter Baseball

By Joel Ingle and Daniel Barnes The Madhatters have improved in the last few games by cutting down on errors and being more aggressive at the plate. The Madhatters battled for their first win on Saturday, May 4, 2013 against Covington Latin High School. Sophomore Tyler Griffis picked up his first career victory after five innings pitching without an earned run. Junior Andrew Cash led the offense with a two for four day at the plate with two runs batted in. So far, the Team is 1-10. The Team is really young, with only five upperclassmen. Errors were a big part of the losses. Most of the opposing team’s runs have been scored off errors. The Team hopes to grow and get better as the season concludes. Game one of the Lumber Bat Classic, between Oyler and Riverview East resulted in a victory for Riverview East. Game two of the Lumber Bat Classic began on Thursday, April 25, 2013. But the game only went to three innings because of time. At the end of the third inning, Riverview East was leading the game 6-2. The game continued on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 4:30 at Riverview East. The game went all seven innings. The Madhatters fought hard but lost 11-2.

The 2013 Oyler Varsity Baseball Team. Back row, left to right: Head Coach Matt Phillips, Assistant Coach Chris O’Brien, Jameico Howard, Andrew Cash, Mark Walters, Nathan Meyer, Derrick Sexton, Brendon Collins, Dillon Conners, and Assistant Coach Justin Leach. Front Row, left to right: Tiyon Mincey, Joel Ingle, Daniel Barnes, Khristopher Weaver, Tyler Griffis, and Antwone Gary. Not pictured: Assistant Coach Mike Phllips and Romero Tyler. Photo by Dave Scholl.

The Madhatters have three regular season games left. As of May 4, 2013. They have two Division I schools left to play--Hughes and West High. Senior Night for the Team will be Thursday, May 9, 2013 against West High. The Team will play Hughes on Saturday, May 11, 2013. After eleven games Sophomore Brendon Collins leads the team with 9 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a .286 batting average. Sophomore Tyler Griffis leads the team in pitching with a 1.66 era and 15 strikeouts in 12 innings.

The Oyler Varsity Baseball team has been playing their home games at Western Hills High School. The field was the site of a 9-5 Oyler victory over Covington Latin on May 4. Photo by Justin Leach

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Oyler Griffin

April/May 2013

New Texting Law in Ohio

By Stephanie Barnes, Rebecca Pridemore and Ashley Darnell

Photo by Emily Offenbacker

Oyler’s Rising Dance Star By Ariel Daniels

Dominic Robinson is a freshman at Oyler High School (OHS), and he is also a talented performer. Robinson is a member of the OHS Glee Club and is also the only dancer on the team. Robinson said his favorite thing about being a part of Glee Club is dancing and socializing with the other members. Robinson said, “I like performing for people. I enjoy learning how to improve myself and practicing to get better. Robinson has been dancing for only four months, but he is a natural born performer. Robinson said, “When I dance it’s like I’m inside the beat, like I feel it.” The first show that Robinson performed in was the Omega Talent Hunt on March 13, 2013. At this talent show he competed against kids from different public high schools. Although he did not place, Robinson had the crowd wanting to see more and more of his talent. When he had finally got to perform in front of the entire school for the Glee Club’s big show, Robinson said, “I was nervous, but happy.” The person who inspires Robinson the most is his mom. “She never lets me down,” he says. “She tells me to keep practicing and to keep getting better.” Another performance from the Glee Club is coming soon. Robinson said, “I’ve been practicing more and taking advice from others to help me improve for the next show. I can do better, and I should keep at it and do my best.” Those hoping to see his next performance can do so at the upcoming Glee Club show on May 29. Many are excited to see what Robinson’s hard work and dedication will produce at the next show.

Teens who text and drive face a new law in Ohio. For motorists 18 and younger, it is now illegal to use nearly any handheld wireless communication device while in traffic, which includes sitting at a red light or in a traffic jam. The purpose of this law is to increase awareness of distracted-driving risks. The only exceptions are using pre-programmed GPS devices or making emergency phone calls to the police, an ambulance, or a firefighter. The state law does not prohibit the use of voice-operated or hands-free devices. The misdemeanor offense could result in a $150 fine and a 60-day driver's license suspension; a second violation is a $300 fine and a one-year suspension. Although Ohio's law went into effect April 11, 2013, there is a six-month grace period where police could issue warnings. What does the Oyler community think about the law? “Important! Why only for teenagers? I think it’s an issue for all drivers of all ages. I’m just saying.” Mr. White, 11th and 12th grade science teacher. “I think it’s a good law, teenagers are distracted by the butterfly down the street, let alone texting.” Coach Matt Phillips. “I think it’s great, we want people to be safe and alive.” Stephanie Messinger, Senior

Talent Show Preview

By Selina Appel There are many talented people in Oyler High School as the Glee Club performance showed. This year in the upcoming Talent Show there are going to be unusual and extreme talents. Lydia Chestnut is hosting the modeling section of the Talent Show for the first time ever at Oyler. Many styles of clothing will be modeled--such as formal, casual, spring wear, and night out. Auditions, supervised by Mr. Smith in the music room, were held April 25. Students can choose to sing, dance, model or present any other type of entertainment. All the music students will be hosting the show as part of their class work for a grade, controlling the music, lights, and auditions. The Talent Show will be on the 10th of May at 6:30 pm in Oyler School’s auditorium.

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Oyler Griffin

Fun Facts

By Amanda Sanders An eagle can kill a young deer and fly away with it. The average person has more than 1,460 dreams a year. One in every four Americans has appeared on television. Source: Cracking your knuckles does not actually hurt your bones or cause arthritis. The sound you hear is just gas bubbles bursting. Women speak about 20,000 words a day, while men only speak 7,000. Yawning is contagious. Even thinking about yawning is enough. In fact, there's a 50% chance that you're about to, or just did, yawn.

April/May 2013

Amy Scott Presented with Gracie Award Emily Offenbacker

National Public Radio (NPR) reporter, Amy Scott, is going to be presented with the Gracie Award for her Marketplace stories about Oyler Community Learning Center and about starting education early for children. The Gracie Awards are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) Foundation. They honor programming and individuals of the highest caliber in all facets of radio, television, cable and web-based media, including news, drama, comedy, commercials, public service, documentary and sports, according to AWM. The story about Oyler described all of the programs offered in the School--things such as the Health Care Center, the OneSight Vision Center, and therapists at hand. The story also talks about how Oyler became a high school. The second story is about the programs provided to a young mother to help her child learn and prepare for kindergarten. The two radio stories that won can be found on

Source: Odontophobia is the fear of teeth. The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache. Stressed is desserts spelled backwards. Source:

The availability of fresh produce in the community was the focus of this booth designed by students from the University of Cincinnati at the Mini Appalachian Festival on May 4. The Oyler Griffin will have a special report in the next edition on “food deserts� by Jacob Saylor and Papa Niane. Photo by Emily Offenbacker.

Oyler Griffin 5th Edition  

The April/May Edition of the Oyler Griffin, the student led newspaper of Oyler High School